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Ping launches new G400 Max driver, the “most forgiving driver in golf”

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As initially expected, the Ping G400 Max driver that officially launched today is made for more forgiveness, with a larger construction than it’s original G400 family members. In 2017, Ping launched its G400 driver line that included a standard model, a draw-biased SF Tec and a fade-biased LS Tec, each of which measured 445cc — below the 460cc legal limit of the USGA. Despite the smaller sizes, which helped reduce drag for more club head speed, they were actually more forgiving than their G-family predecessors due to aerodynamic improvements, thinner crowns, strategically-placed Tungsten weights and a new TS9+ titanium face.

Now, Ping’s new G400 Max driver has even more forgiveness than the already super-forgiving G400 drivers due to its larger size and additional weight in the rear of the golf club. Like the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max has a rear tungsten weight, except it’s even farther back and actually wraps around the sole of the G400 Max. The design means CG (center of gravity) is extremely low and rearward in the club head, and MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) is the highest reported on the market… or in other words, according to Ping, it’s the most forgiving driver out.

“Our engineers focused on increasing the forgiveness of the driver while maintaining the distance gains and powerful sound of the original G400 driver,” said John Solheim, the president of Ping. “It’s remarkable how long and straight the G400 Max flies. The forgiveness is off the charts and leads to tighter dispersion, which reveals just how consistent your distance and accuracy results will be on the golf course. We encourage all golfers to get fit and look closely at their dispersion, not just their one best shot on a launch monitor.”

When you hear about max forgiveness, you typically assume it’s a game-improvement driver that’s made for high-handicappers, right? While this driver will help recreational golfers who need help on off-center hits, the G400 Max driver is already in the bags of Ping staffers Aaron Baddeley and Seamus Power, and non-staffer Tony Finau, one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour. According to Ping, despite having a larger size than the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max is still able to produce speed because of its forged, heat-treated T9S+ face that has a “thinner, hotter” impact area that raises ball speed.

Like the G400 drivers, the G400 Max comes stock with an Alta CB (counterbalanced) shaft that uses special, color-shifting paint technology to look great on the shelf with its copper color, but it looks black at address to reduce distractions. Read more about the shaft technology here. Ping’s Alta CB shaft is available in 55 (SR, R, S or X flex). Additional shaft options include Ping’s Tour 65 or 75 (R, S or X) for a $35 upcharge, or the following aftermarket shaft options for a $75 upcharge: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60 (R, S or X flex), Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 (5.5, 6.0 or 6.5 flex) or Aldila’s X-Torsion Copper (50R or 60S) shaft.

Ping’s G400 Max drivers, which are available now for pre-order, come in 9 and 10.5 degree options and with Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. They start selling for $435 apiece, plus any additional upcharges for shafts.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Ping G400 Max drivers in our forums.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 15, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Okay, the last version reduced from 460 to 445 which helped to make it more forgiving and now they go back to 460 to make it more forgiving (with all of the other stuff for each version to of course). I wonder how they measure forgiveness … is it having 1000’s of real average golfers hitting balls and then tabulating the results between versions? Is it using a machine with a perfect swing? Or, is it more marketing fluff than anything else?

  2. Robert Parsons

    Jan 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I would want to try a G400 Max LST.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Not available in the SFT or LST head.

      • Walter

        Jan 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        IOW it’s a gearhead hacker driver promising power and distance. Nothing new here.

  3. Watson

    Jan 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Highest loft is 10.5º which means it’s only good for 100+++mph swing speeds.
    I just bought, for $40, a mint condition PING G2 400cc driver with 15.5º lofts to match my declining swing speed. It’s got a 47″ stock TFC 100D with Soft Regular shaft with ‘Tip Flex Control’ feature.
    It’s an oversized 3-wood which I can confidently hit 220+/- yards. The flex is high but I can handle it with my slower swing speed. It plays like a whippy hickory shafted driver!
    A perfect club for an aging golfer who once hit 250+ regularly. Fortunately my short game and putting is still fantastic.

  4. Jerry

    Jan 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I can see pros swinging at 115-130 wanting more forgiveness. But I’m swingin at max 95 mph and with a decent swing, I really enjoy the sweet feel/sound and uber forgiveness of the G400.

  5. mM

    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I love this advertorial… it says the Max is larger than the 445 of the original G400. But doesn’t say what size it is.
    Well done Ping. Not.

    • Milton Gombo

      Jan 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      460cc. Shape may be more like the original ‘G’ design, which I preferred anyway.
      If you want to rant about Ping- why can’t they arrange a head-only exchange program, as there is nothing wrong with my G400 Tour 65 shaft? This new Max w/ Tour shaft runs $470, and the PGA trade in value for my 1 month old G400 is $135. They would have locked me in sight unseen with a head-only exchange program. Now I’ll be testing other brands as well.

      • Jerry

        Jan 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        Doubt if 15cc will make a difference. Find the shaft you like and bomb away. I did not like any of the stock offerings, did not care for the Tour Shaft, nothing special to me, and it took several months to find a shaft – using a VA Shafts 55, and have a TPT Golf 54g shaft when they release the new version this month after the show. I think shaft is key here. More than enough forgiveness.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      It has a 460 cc head.

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 CJ Cup

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 620 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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How @justinthomas34 marks his @titleist Pro V1x ????

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Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Cameron Champ WITB 2019

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*Equipment accurate as of the Houston Open

Driver: Ping G410 LST (9.5 degrees, flat+, CG shifter in neutral, 5g face, 5g toe weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70G-6.5 TX (44.25″, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-driver

5-wood: Ping G410 (@17 degrees, flat standard, 5g face weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 95G-6.5 TX (41.75”, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-5-wood

Irons: Ping i500 [3-iron (38.75″, 21 degree loft, 1 degree up)], Ping iBlade [4-iron (1/2 degree flat, standard length)], Ping Blueprint [5-PW (1/2 degree flat, standard length)]
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 w/Cushin insert

cameron-champ-witb-2019-irons

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54 degrees) (1 degree flat), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping PLD Prime Prototype (Stealth finish, straight arc, 34 3/8″, 19 degree lie, 2 degree loft, black shaft)
Grip: Ping PP58 Midsize Full Cord

Grips: Custom Lamkin Black 58R

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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